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The Top 10 iPhone Applications of May 2009

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Hello, and welcome to the fifth installment of iWant, iNeed, iRecommend. This is a monthly series that will, simply put, talk briefly and present the top ten iPhone and iPod Touch applications from that month. At the end of the year, the 120 mentioned applications will then go head to head to see which apps become the top ten for the year. If you would like to read my previous top ten lists, as well as all my other iPhone and iPod Touch application reviews, you can see them here. While this list is subjective (as are all top ten lists), I did my best to base this on actual use, not my own opinion. Enjoy.

10: Mathew Cruz's Magic: The Gathering Applications

Just like the Mathammer 40K from last month's list, the tenth place application from May 2009 is a pet game of mine. Magic: The Gathering is a card game with collectible cards where you are a planeswalker and are trying to defeat your opponent. Different cards do different things, and the end result is simply to get them to zero life. As the game is 16 years old, there are thousands of cards, and hundred of rules that you need to know to play the game. This is where Mathew's applications come in handy. “The Sylvan Archives” has all of the cards, the rules, and useful information like that. “MTG Library” is full of document pertaining to the rules of the game itself, as well as other useful tidbits. And finally, for those with numerous decks, there is “MTG Deck Manager,” which, well, manages your decks. Though these applications are clearly for a niche market, if you are an MTG player you should not be without them.

9: Tap Tap: Dave Matthews Band
Ahh, Tap Tap, a game which seems to be exceptionally popular and will never die. Just like DDR, Rock Band, and Guitar Hero, Tap Tap is putting out game after game with amazing sales. Additionally, they make my top ten list almost every single month. This month's edition features songs from the Dave Matthews Band for your fingers to tap to. Though I have never understood this game, somehow just ten songs are selling exceptionally well. At a price of $4.99, even you can get in on the action.

8: DMV Test Prep
There is something about the driving tests that make all teens sweat. While I passed it on my first try, a fair bit of my peers failed to do so. One of the main reasons for this is the fact that they failed the written test. This is where DMV Test Prep comes in, as it is localized for your state – though you can get a 50-state version – and will tell you everything you need to know in order to pass the test. Does your state allow right turns on red? What about the speed limit? Any special rules for passing? These, and any other driving question you have, can be answered simply by taking a gander at this application. With a price of only $2.99, DMV Test Prep goes a long way to making me feel safer on the road.

7: Myst For iPhone
First published 16 years ago, Myst was an amazing game for the time. The graphics were stunning, the sounds eerie, and the gameplay amazing. It was so popular that it was the highest selling game until The Sims passed it (interesting that this very game shows up later in this list) in 2002. Cyan, the company that made the game, has decided that it is time for another generation to experience it, and so they have ported it to the iPhone. Everything is faithful to the original, from the sounds, to the looks, to the controls. Even though the 700+ megabytes of data will eat up your storage space, playing Myst just one more time is worth the $5.99 price.

6: Top Gun
Back in the 1980s Tom Cruise was a big deal. His movies were blockbusters and his acting was great. One of his greatest movies was Top Gun, where Tom served as a wise ass ace pilot for the U.S.A. Paramount, deciding that they wanted to cash in on the movie some more, has created an iPhone game based off of this. You take controls as a pilot, fly some sweet planes, and shoot those godless commies out of the sky. Plus, you get to be as arrogant and confrontational as Tom was in the movie. Everything in this game is great; the controls are flawless, the graphics crisp, and the sound is par. You can push the throttle all the way up for only $3.99 today. Look for a full review of this title within a few weeks.

5: Police Powers
You would be surprised by how many people do not know their fundamental rights when it comes to dealing with the police. You would be even more surprised by how many police do not know the proper laws, constitutional protections, and normal procedures when dealing with citizens. This is where Police Powers comes in. Police Powers is an application for your iPhone that allows you to see the protocol for everything, from interrogations to handling terrorist subjects. Though it is aimed at police officers and lawyers, I feel that every citizen should know their rights. Thus, I believe that the $4.99 out of your pocket is well worth it.

4: US Citizenship Study Guide
Before I start, I would like to point out that I am aware that the target of this application is quite small. That said, however, I truly believe that everybody should know the basic questions that are on the US citizenship test, and so I think that this is a worthwhile investment. US Citizenship Study Guide is a pretty simple application for your iPhone or iPod Touch. The application takes questions from the most recent INS study guide, puts them in a nice format, and gives them to you. While some might think these are easy questions, they are what you need to know to become a citizen of this fine country. If you are planning on taking the citizenship test, then I recommend that you use $.99 to grab this application today.

3: UP by Disney*Pixar
DisneyPixar is one of the most successful animation studios of all time. Churning out hit after hit, the studio uses computer generated imagery to create a wonderful storyline and character set. Their newest movie, Up, continues this great tradition. To celebrate this movie, DisneyPixar has released an iPhone or iPod Touch game that allows you to get in on the action. Play through 24 different adventures on your quest to guide Carl’s house through the bright blue sky. With amusing graphics and addicting game play, the $4.99 out of your pocket is a great investment.

2: The Sims 3 for iPhone
This seems eerily similar to actual game sales, with The Sims beating out Myst. Back in the late '90s, one game seemed to be on everybody’s mind – The Sims. As the game has changed, the fan base has grown by countless people. On June 2, EA launched the newest iteration of the game, The Sims 3. The game, however, was preceded by a version on the iPhone on May 29. Just like the real game, you get to control your Sim, move him around, and interact with the real world. Frankly, it feels as though you are playing the first iteration of the game in terms of style and game play, but the concepts are brand new and shiny. Though the cost of $9.99 seems steep, for what you are getting, it is worth it.

And the #1 iPhone application from May 2009 is…

1: Bento
At the end of April I was contacted by a company called FileMaker about a new product they were going to release for the iPhone. Though I could not see it in practice until its May 1 launch, the demo that they showed me was absolutely amazing. Ever since that point, I have been enamored by Bento. Bento is a database system that I use almost every single day on my phone. I keep recipes, shopping lists, exercise logs, and even my checkbook on it. I use it so much that my class notes are organized on it and my Blogcritics review list is stored on it. Think of a list, or really anything, that you need organized and Bento can do it for you. Plus, it has a great user interface, a good look, and feels truly natural to the iPhone. At only $4.99, this simple application will make your life easier, and I strongly urge you to buy it. Look for a full review of this title within a few weeks.

Well, folks, there you have it, the top 10 iPhone and iPod Touch applications from May 2009. If you wanted to buy all of these applications, you would be set back only $50.88! If you have any suggestions for next month's list, or want to tell me what I missed, please let me know in the comment field.

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About Robert M. Barga

  • http://pwinn.tumblr.com/ Phillip Winn

    I bought Tap Tap Coldplay last month, and I’m eying the DMB edition, too. Crazy fun stuff, once you get into it!

  • http://whalertly.blogspot.com Robert M. Barga

    I dont know Phillip, i mean, i like it for a bit, but it annoys me

  • MacDaddy

    I explored both Bento and Tap form to see which was the better database app. All in all, I think Tap Form came out the winner in my eyes. Before you give Bento your first place prize, you should check it out.

  • http://whalertly.blogspot.com Robert M. Barga

    you think what?

  • http://whalertly.blogspot.com Robert M. Barga

    the thing is, Bento is made by a native company and it has a desktop version, which means it is much easier to use

  • Titus

    I just read “Police Powers” reviews on the iTunes store, this app does not pertain to police powers in USA, it is only good for people who live in the UK.
    Also, all reviewers are complaining about the extremely small fonts.
    I would like to know why do you rate this as a top 10 app and why not include the above mentioned details.

  • Barga

    Titus, the app described to me listed it as information about america, so i went off of their description

  • http://www.what-what.net mktanny

    love your posts ,they are helping me a lot in getting some stuff for my all new iphone.
    Thnx

  • http://www.technologyblogged.com Technology Blogged

    Thank you for these statistics, as a technology based blog I am always on the look out for things like this. I also really love the layout of your blog.

    In terms of your post I honestly believe andrioid will become number one. The reason I believe this is due to their next line up which includes the HTC Salsa, Bravo (Google Phone) and others of a great spec.

    These phones are sure to dominate Blackberry, Windows based phones and yes even the iPhone. Perhaps not Linux though, as in the east and China especially they are very popular (and it has the largest population for a country in the world). Perhaps linux will create a truly well adapted mobile operating system?

    On the iPhone I believe that unless Apple can truly bring a large upgrade to their iPhone which can compete with the Snapdragon 1Ghz monstrosity chip found in the HTC Bravo then they will lose market share < even possibly below the figures you have.

    More and more manufacturers will switch to android – Motorola made a brilliant move doing this as and they even put all their business resources into backing it < what a move, they are now selling the Droid in huge numbers and thats great. The Cliq isn’t doing too badly either according to T-Mobile.

    I think Nokia would be the last to move, however with the new N series falling short of Apples offering and HTC’s perhaps they might even decide to focus on regular handsets over the smart options (mind, thats a loss of revenue isn’t it).

    Well thank you for this post, and don’t hesitate to become a guest poster on my blog – from your writing you definately have style

    Regards,

    Jakk from Technology Blogged

  • bogat

    Is there an app on the iphone for actually playing Magic: The Gathering rather than just maintaing decks etc… ?????

    Pls let me know as I’d love to play the card game again on the iphone.

  • http://www.whalertly.com/wordpress barga

    Not that I know of, sorry

  • Technology

    I agree with Jakk, and believe that andrioid will become number one. Not only because of their next line up which includes the HTC Salsa, Bravo etc. but also because Google have such dominance in so many markets now, they can persuade us to go for their products, because of their compatibility.

    I feel sorry for phones like the Blackberry, as they are good phones, but up against Google, they stand no chance :(

    Great article!

    Thanks :)

  • http://www.whalertly.com/wordpress barga

    The droid has countless problems, a buggy os, and a ton of apps that just dont work sorry, but closed OS is much better for phones (and I am running linux on my comp now)

  • Vitalka

    As for me, iPhone would be more better with Windows Mobile OS. It’s not so difficult to use, easy to repair/reinstall and possible to fun with any software that you need.
    But, iPhone users also value any software they can use, because they can’t get them too much from Apple store.
    Of course, there are some rich people who can buy a lot of paid software, but all the other people usually can’t do that :-(

  • http://www.technologyblogged.com Technology Blogged

    @technology, thanks buddy.

    My initial comment was made last year in December and a lot has happened since then both in regards to the iPhone and in regards to Android.

    Android has grown vastly like technology agreed with, and the iPhone has remained steady although Apple themselves have taken 50% of the handheld gaming market, a milestone which is something to be proud off.

    The latest iPhone, the 4, is something I bought and have had to replace 3 times from the Apple store due to hardware failures 1) the screen backlight failed 2) the wifi antenna jammed 3) the touch screen became un responsive.

    You know, for such an expensive phone you’d expect more, right?